Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

ALL MY YESTERDAYS: EDWARD G. ROBINSON


ALL MY YESTERDAYS: An Autobiography. Edward G. Robinson with Leonard Spigelgass. Hawthorne; 1973.

"For male actors it is possible, though not easy, to slip gradually from leading man into character roles. For me, it just came naturally, since I was never Tab Hunter ..."

In this posthumously published autobiography, the great actor, who became a star with Little Caesar, writes frankly of his life and career and relationships with friends, actors and other co-workers. He gives candid, honest -- but not mean-spirited -- assessments of such co-stars as Bette Davis and Kay Francis, and describes his love of art and how he set out amassing his great collection of masterpieces. He also writes about the brutal days when he was unfairly accused of being a communist. Robinson died before he could complete his recollections, so the book was finished by his collaborator Spigelgass, who provides some interesting footnotes and a compilation of Robinson's opinions on various subjects. He also writes of Robinson's divorce, how he lost most of his great art treasures, and his troubled relationship with his only son.

Verdict: Compelling reading from a great star and superb thespian. ****.

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